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Avalara Help Center

Set up Your Avalara AvaTax Account and Company Profile

This article applies to:Avalara AvaTax

Activate your AvaTax account, accept the terms and conditions, and finalize your company profile to begin using Avalara services.

Activate your account

  1. Log in to the Admin Console. Your Admin Console user name and password were sent to you from Avalara Support (support@avalara.com) with a subject line of AvaTax Account Login.
  2. The first time you log in, you're required to change your password. When you're done, click Next.
    AvaTax-Activate Account-Change Password.png
  3. On the Accept MSA tab, review the terms and conditions. Then, click Accept. This activates your account and displays your account number and license key.
  4. Save and/or print the account number and license key information. Then, click Next.
    AvaTax-Activate Account-Account Number and License Key.png
  5. On the Create Company tab, enter your basic company information. If you need help finding your company code, we've got you covered.
     
  6. Once you've entered this basic information, click Create & Activate.

After you've activated your AvaTax account, you're taken to the Get Started tab in the Admin Console. Now it's time for you to finalize the settings for the company you created when you activated your AvaTax account.

Set up your company profile

For an overview of each tab in the Admin Console, read introduction to the Admin Console.

  1. On the Organization tab, select the company you just created.
  2. On the Company subtab, move through the setup windows, providing missing information. Visit each setup window, but pay special attention to the information on these windows:
    1. Company Setup: Provide your Business Tax Identification Number (TIN).
    2. Company Address Information: Provide your company address.
    3. Primary Contact Information: Provide your contact's details.
  3. Click Save when you're finished providing the rest of your company information.

Tell us where you collect tax

Add nexus jurisdictions to tell AvaTax when and where to calculate and report taxes for your company. If you've already added nexus jurisdictions in AvaTax and need to make changes, you can edit nexus jurisdictions.

Nexus is the connection or relationship a business has with a taxing jurisdiction in which it sells products and services. This connection obligates the business to calculate, collect, report, and remit taxes. State and local authorities have varying definitions as to what constitutes nexus and who is liable for collecting and remitting sales and use taxes in their jurisdictions. 

Typically, a business must have a “substantial physical presence” in a taxing jurisdiction to have nexus there. The following items may constitute a “substantial physical presence” in a taxing jurisdiction, and therefore an obligation to calculate, collect, report, and remit tax:

  • A corporate office, storefront, or remote sales office
  • Remote employees working from home on the company payroll
  • Owned or rented warehouse space containing owned inventory
  • Owned inventory leased to a customer
  • Sales or marketing representatives making regularly scheduled visits
  • Delivery of product by a company-owned vehicle

Rules governing what constitutes nexus vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Determining exactly how a rule applies to your business is critical. If you're at all uncertain about where you should be collecting and remitting taxes:

  • Contact the appropriate state or local tax agencies. Each state defines the rules for when a business is required to collect and remit sales and use tax. Therefore, each state and their tax agencies are the source for the final decision regarding if you need to collect and pay sales tax based on your business practices.
  • Contact your Customer Account Manager (CAM) for more information about Avalara Professional Services. Avalara provides a variety of professional tax services, including nexus studies, voluntary disclosure agreements, and tax registration services.

Add nexus jurisdictions

 

  1. On the Organization tab, click the Nexus Jurisdictions button Picture of the Jurisdictions button for your new company.
  2. On the Country Jurisdictions screen, select the check box next to applicable country names.
    • Selecting CANADA turns on the calculation of Canadian Goods and Services Tax (GST)HoverTT.png for products or services delivered to Canadian customers. Selecting UNITED STATES in Country Jurisdictions doesn't enable any specific tax calculation behavior.

  3. Change the Begin Date or End Date as needed. For more information, see the Jurisdiction begin dates and end dates section above.
  4. Click Save. The page refreshes, and the Select Jurisdictions button in the row for each country you selected becomes active.
  5. Click Select Jurisdictions for any country.
  6. On the State or Province Jurisdictions screen, select the check box next to applicable state or province names.
    • Selecting Canadian provinces and territories turns on the calculation of Canadian Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and/or Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) for products or services delivered to Canadian customers. If you're a GST/HST registrant, you must select the 5 participating HST provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island. For more information, see what is GST/HST?
  7. For the United States, change the Tax Type selection if desired. For more information, see about tax types.
  8. Change the Begin Date or End Date as needed.
  9. Click Save, but don't leave this page. Depending on the states you're registered in, you may need to tell AvaTax which local jurisdictions you're registered in as well.

Add local jurisdictions

Some states have local jurisdictions with additional tax rules. Local jurisdictions include counties, cities, and special tax jurisdictions in the United States. Tell AvaTax which local jurisdictions you're registered in to get the most accurate rate possible. For more information, see about local jurisdictions.

To add local jurisdictions:

  1. On the State Jurisdictions screen, after you select and save the states to register in, click Select Jurisdictions for any state for which the button is active.

    AvaTaxCalc-Organization-TaxProfile-SelectJurisdictionsforaStateorProvince.png
  2. On the Local Jurisdictions screen, click View Jurisdictions to view the compulsory local jurisdictions, if desired.
  3. For each state in which you need to select local jurisdictions, choose how to maintain optional local jurisdictions:
    • Selective
      • You select and maintain the optional local jurisdictions. Any new optional local jurisdictions that are created and in which you are registered must be added manually. AvaTax only applies tax for transactions in these jurisdictions.
      • Find local jurisdictions for a state based on a company address using the jurisdiction finder.
    • All
      • AvaTax selects and maintains all optional local jurisdictions. Any new optional local jurisdictions are added automatically. AvaTax applies tax for transactions in all local jurisdictions.
  4. If you choose Selective, the page will reload and a list of county, city, and special tax jurisdictions displays. Select all jurisdictions in which you wish to register.
  5. Change the Begin Date or End Date as needed. For more information, see the Jurisdiction begin dates and end dates section above.
  6. Click Save.

Use the jurisdiction finder

The jurisdiction finder provides a straight-forward way to identify local jurisdictions using a company address.

To use the jurisdiction finder:

  1. On the Local Jurisdictions page, select Selective. The jurisdiction finder becomes active.
  2. Click Jurisdiction Finder.
  3. Select the Type of address for the jurisdiction finder.
  4. Enter the required information based on the Type you selected.
  5. Click Next.
  6. AvaTax selects the tax region for this address or ZIP Code.
    • If the tax region is applicable to your business, click Save & Finish to add the jurisdiction(s) and exit the jurisdiction finder or, if you would like to search for another jurisdiction, Save & Add More. (No jurisdictions are officially added until you click Save & Finish.)
    • If the tax region is not applicable:
    1. Click View and select Neighboring Tax Regions.
    2. Choose a neighboring tax region to update the list of jurisdictions, and then select the jurisdictions desired (County, City, or Special tax jurisdictions).
    3. Change the Begin Date or End Date for each jurisdiction as needed.
    4. Click Save & Finish to add the jurisdiction(s) and exit the jurisdiction finder or, if you would like to search for another jurisdiction, Save & Add More. (No jurisdictions are officially added until you click Save & Finish.)

Next steps

You're finished with your initial settings in AvaTax, now install and configure AvaTax for your accounting system.